The United States and World Poverty

The United States and World Poverty

The United States and World Poverty

The United States and World Poverty

Excerpt

This book is an update of an earlier one entitled Solving World Hunger. The U.S. Stake, published in 1986. The revisions are primarily found in the numerical data used to demonstrate the nature of the world hunger problem and the role played by the U.S. foreign assistance program. The general problems, issues, and solutions, however, remain essentially the same as analyzed in 1986. Similarly, the need for U.S. participation and for public awareness and support persists and is perhaps even more critical today.

In his 1949 inaugural address, President Harry Truman committed the United States to assist in the development of poorer nations, an endeavor that has come to be known as the Point Four program. With his pronouncement, the United States embarked on a worldwide effort, later supported by other developed nations, to rid the planet of poverty and hunger.

The expanded assistance that has evolved has been both praised and criticized. Some see it as an ethical issue involving basic humanitarian obligations to contribute to both the welfare of the poor and international security. Others call it a wasteful and ineffective squandering of U.S. resources that could be better used at home. Most Americans, though, do not know enough about the program to have an informed opinion.

This book tries to eliminate that information gap. It provides a perspective on issues of world hunger and poverty, and a discussion of why and how the United States participates in solving related problems. As the public gains in understanding of the issues, their informed concern may help generate new solutions and create the needed long-term commitment to eliminate hunger from the planet.

It is worth noting here that one of the most difficult problems facing those who write about international development issues is the choice of a terminology that is neither inaccurate nor pejorative to describe countries other than those known as "Western industrialized" or "Eastern bloc." To refer to India, Burkina Faso . . .

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